Artistic Energy Abounds in Steamboat

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Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.Margaret B. Runbeck

The 5th annual All Arts Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was this past weekend, and I was busy. On Friday afternoon I browsed booths filled with artisan wares of all kinds – jewelry, photography, sculpture, fiber arts, oil paintings, pottery and more. There was something of interest for everyone.

On Friday evening I ushered at Strings Music Festival, and I was so grateful I was able to see Love Letters. This play, by A.R. Gurney, earned finalist status for a Pulitzer Prize for drama. I adored it. It left me amazed at how two people reading a script could make an evening so engaging. Katherine Ross and Wilfred A Brimley showed their talents, as actors, by drawing me into the storyline immediately, from the first line to the last.

On Sunday morning at the UnitedMethodistChurch, an operatic singer was incorporated into the service. Although fabulous local musical talent is often showcased in our church, Elizabeth Gore-Stanley had come to town over the weekend as part of the Emerald City Opera. Her beautiful rendition of  “Blessings” aptly described the way I was feeling as I listened to her exquisite God-given voice, and thought about this place, Steamboat.

I wrapped up my weekend back at Strings Music Festival ushering.  Lyle Lovett and his big band gave a performance which did not disappoint. All talented musicians in their own right, with albums to their credit. A little bit country, a little bit Texas swing, some rhythm and blues made for a fulfilling evening. Arnold McCuller, Lovett’s sidekick (backup vocalist) was one smooth guy and you can listen to voice and song writing from his album Soon As I Get Paid on his website. http://bit.ly/13yUFog.

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As we move into midweek, this town in the northwest corner of the Rocky Mountains will continue to stay busy with tourists. The nation’s top bikers will pedal their way through Steamboat Springs on August 21 and 22nd as part of the US Pro Biking Challenge “America’s Race.” which begins in Aspen, Colorado and ends in Denver. Breathtaking altitudes (over 12,000 ft), treacherous mountain passes and spectacular scenery will bring over one million visitors to the State to witness this competition.

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

From Dust to Dreams

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Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Did you see “From Dust to Dreams” on PBS on Friday night? What an outstanding program; made for a fulfilling and fun evening. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been at the opening evening of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. http://www.thesmithcenter.com   A stunning arena!

The 2,050 seats in the auditorium were filled to capacity reminding us as they pointed out in the show that “if you build it, people will come.” Like other top performing arts centers in the country, this creative space will stay booked and busy. It is in the city of Las Vegas, long known for its outstanding entertainment.

The show could not have been better orchestrated. Stars like Martina McBride, John Fogerty, Willy Nelson, Jennifer Hudson, Carole King, violinist Joshua Bell and many others ushered in the opening season and nearly brought down the house of this much heralded new venue that opened on March 10, 2012.

For me, however, the crème de la crème, were the artists trained in musical theatre; they sing so succinctly and clearly. Musical theatre is my favorite form of art, bar none. The range of tunes, from some of the most notable musicals in history, really carried the night. The audience heard songs from West Side Story, Ragtime,Man of LaMancha, Rent, Life of the Party, Sweet Charity and The King and I.  Some of my favorites.

The cost to build this facility was $470 million dollars and construction took 33 months to complete it. The finale was so appropriate to the evening. “Take Care of this House,” sung by Jennifer Hudson was performed with panache.

If you missed this show, there is a DVD of “From Dust to Dreams” available to the public, thanks to PBS. It is well worth buying and it would bring personal fulfillment as a Christmas present to the fan of performing arts in your family. Here is the link.From Dust to Dreams.

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Architecture, Glassworks and History

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In all things, let reason be your guide.” ~ Solon

On April 5th, I posted a blog entitled Glassworks Inspired by Nature. http://bit.ly/h0j9Uc. It continues to be one of the most frequently read blogs of all time on All Things Fulfilling. Obviously, it struck a cord with readers on this site.  

I will be writing another blog on this subject and am looking for help from our readers all over the world. If you have found in your travels or in your community, an architectural structure that is of great interest due to it’s history, architecture and the glassworks incorporated into the design of the building, come forth and post a reason why you think your suggestion fits what I am looking for. Remember – all three elements must be there – art (extraordinary glass installations), architecture and history. 

At a later date,  modern structures that wow will be featured. For now, I am searching for historical structures. This request could bring enlightenment and education for all readers. After all, there are buildings all over the world that are inspiring and carry stories of interest that the average person has had little to no exposure to. 

By the way, fulfilling things don’t come just in churches…… many public buildings, private  homes, college campuses, museums and community centers  could have the three elements that I am looking for, too. 

 Identify this structure or post in the comment section your favorite structure that fulfills the requirements of history, glass installations and architecture. I want to hear from you and the best of the best will be featured. 

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Mellifluous Monday

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Mellifluous: “Flows like honey, smooth and sweet.” Sounds like a very fulfilling way to live life and an apropos adjective to describe my week ahead. 

The first day of the business week – attending weekly Kiwanis meeting. Always worthwhile because it’s “an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, one child and one community at a time.” www.kiwanis.org

  • Tuesday – Meet-up at City Café in Steamboat Springs,Colorado at 4pm. Our third monthly meeting of SHe Writes Steamboat. Lots of independent publishing business to tend to this month. Susan Mead, MH will also be presenting her book “Take Back your Body.”
  • Wednesday – stay tuned to the back story of an author and actress who took the stage on The Days of our Lives.
  • Thursday – Come on back to All Things Fulfilling. We will be on a blog tour with an interview of an author and actress whose life converged with mine due to common interests.
  • A music banquet feast at the end of the week. On Friday night Grammy nominated artist Eliza Gilkyson, world-renowned, singer-songwriter  John Gorka (with 11 albums to his name)  and  Winner of Best Pop Album of the year for the Association of Independent Music, Lucy Kaplansky will join forces. Their band Red Horse will entertain at Strings in the Mountains www.stringsmusicfestival.com. I’ll be there to help people to their seats! 

    This summer is slipping away quickly. Kids will soon be back to school. Take advantage of the next few weeks by treating your children to a museum, the theatre, art or culture of your favorite kind. It will broaden your child’s life experience and you may just stir up their  life-long love for the Arts.

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Little Things Mean Alot

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My husband has been glued to the news channel, following the ups and downs of the stock market, as well  being engaged in squabbles in politics. The other day, I said to him, “I refuse to get drawn into listening to too much of this. Yes, I have my opinions, but, at the end of the day, I really have zero control in what Washington and the Stock Market does. I am going to disconnect and pay attention to what  I have going in my own life that I am grateful for.” 

This week and next is what matters to me most, right now. They are full of little things that will mean a lot. On Tuesday, I ushered for a Youth and Family concert that tickled my funny bone and warmed my heart. Bill Harley, longtime commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered http://n.pr/qSraRp helped me to recollect my own days of going to school and as well as hilarious moments of parenting a child. Many of his “slice-of-life vignettes” made me realize that many things that I worried about as a child,  really didn’t quite matter at all.

Last night was a special treat, too. Volunteering my time once again brought me perks of getting to see a show that I would not have wanted to miss. Strings Music Festival http://bit.ly/qYxQ5R Director and Conductor Andres Cardenes led a night to remember of a picture perfect program, focused on famous movie musical scores which incorporated classical music. Tunes from Fantasia, Amadeus, Psycho, Platoon, a 2011: A Space Odyssey, Titanic and the God Father brought great pleasure to my evening. 

Next week on All Things Fulfilling will be my interview of an author and actress. The back story will appear on Wednesday, August 17. On Thursday, the interview will appear on this site as well as on the author and actress’ virtual book tour. 

Join us next week as Mara and I discuss how our lives came together and what we find to be mutually important in this big wide world called Life.

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Gardens Heaven Scent

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Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero 

Doesn’t it feel good when our heart sings? That is the result of being involved with things we are passionate about.  

On Saturday, I played guide for the Strings in the Mountains Kitchen & Garden Tour. The home I was assigned to was a little slice of Vermont right within the city limits of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The lush green gardens were filled with most of the same species of plants that my extensive gardens inVermont contain. 

When I first arrived at the gardens where I was to volunteer, it was as if the names of the perennial flowers had been filed away in the archives of my brain. I had to dust off the files and dig back into the records of my mind, to remember the names of a few. Once the names of all my favorite flowers were brought to the fore, there was no stopping me. The names all came spewing forth. I had identified each type of bloom before it was time to leave. 

There were Master Gardeners at the site, and I was in heaven for just a few hours, talking the language that plant aficionados find so fulfilling to speak. We talked botanical names vs. common names, climactic zones, acidic soil, shade plants, sun lovin’ plants, invasive species, succulents, ground covers and so much more. 

It has been two and one half years since I have returned to my home in Vermont. This weekend was heaven sent. I  visited Vermont without having to travel and I nursed my dire need for some garden talk, all at once. 

How grateful I am that I have lived in two beautiful nature-inspiring, mountain communities. One is as magnificent as the other, in very different ways. Thanks to the folks that organized the Kitchen and Garden Tours www.stringsmusicfestival.com  for assigning me to this most appreciated locale. I was able hear my heart strings sing, very loud and clear.

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Hot Dog! It’s Summertime!

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Every man’s ability may be strengthened or increased by culture.”   ~John Abbott

Hot Diggity Dog! Summer has finally, finally, finally arrived. What took it so long to come to this mountain resort town? God only knows! But – I think the delay was intentional so we would find summertime all the more fulfilling. 

The thing I look forward to is volunteering my time ushering at Strings in the Mountains Music Festival. The art and culture scene is active and alive all summer long in this small town community. Big name entertainment arrives in this region of Northwest Colorado, after the snow is only visible on the highest peaks. Grammy award-winning artists appear on the Strings in the Mountains stage each summer. Wynton Marsalis and Shawn Colvin are just a few artists that are set to appear this year. There is an impressive mix of both classical and different tempo music series along with fun and interactive concerts for the kids, too.  The ever popular Alpin Hong will delight children again this summer. To view the full schedule of events for the summer of 2011, please visit www.stringsmusicfestival.com

The Strings in the Mountains Pavilion plays host to a group of intellectually stimulating lectures as well. In this ninth season of Seminars in Steamboat http://bit.ly/lksBM7  the line-up includes:

  • Zalmay Khalilzad who will give an “Insiders View” on Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • David Walker, the founder of Comeback America Initiative
  • Robin Wright, author and senior fellow on “The Conundrum of Iraq.”
  • Pulitzer-prize winner Seymour Hersch. He will discuss whether or not Obama’s strategies are working forAmerica.
  • Tamar Jacoby will be offering a “Fresh Perspective on Immigration.” 

For the calendar of this lecture series, please visit http://bit.ly/muMPVq. Also, keep your eye on Rocky Mountain PBS. www.rockymountainpbs.org.  One of these outstanding lectures will be broadcast, at a later date, on the show “Colorado State of Mind.” 

If you have never visited this beautiful mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, summertime, in my opinion, is the very best time to do it. The town is just as vibrant with activities in the summer as it is during the snowy, winter months.

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